Response 854895456

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About you

A. What is your name?

Name (Required)
Katie Williams

C. Where do you live?

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East of England
East Midlands
West Midlands
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Ticked South East
South West
Wales
Yorkshire and the Humber

D. Are you answering this consultation as:

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(Required)
Ticked Resident affected by aviation
Airline passenger
Member of the General Aviation community
Member of the commercial aviation industry
Military
Government and / or other regulators
Representative or national organisation or institute
Elected political representative

E. Are you affiliated with any organisation?

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Ticked Yes
No
Affiliation
Teddington Action Group
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Ticked Yes
No

G. Do you consent for your response to be published?

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Ticked Yes, with personal identifying information (name, location, respondent category, organisation, additional information - please note your email address will NOT be published if you choose this option)
Yes, anonymised
No

General observations

1. Considering the draft guidance overall, to what extent does it meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How would you improve?
While increased community engagement in the process is welcomed, there is no appreciation of the significant time commitment and effort required by members of the public or community groups to engage in what could be multiple change processes. The CAA should make funding available to support communities with responding to consultations. The proposals mean that the only change proposals that will be brought forward by the industry will be those that will generate the industry more profit. There is no incentive for the industry to sponsor changes that will reduce noise and benefit local communities. The framework set out in CAA CAP documents 1520, 1521 and 1506 is inherently biased against communities – prioritising aviation growth ahead of health and environmental impacts. Reasons for reaching this conclusion include; • Inbuilt assumptions in directions for option appraisal assessments that aviation growth should be put ahead of environmental limitations. • A metric system that conceals the real impact of noise on the overflown. • No independent challenge allowed to CAA decisions; no reversal mechanism where impacts are not as predicted or result in unacceptable conditions. • No financial or other incentivisation mechanism to motivate quieter operations or limitations on flights at antisocial hours. • No action plan for achieving or even moving towards WHO recommendations or absolute thresholds relating to aviation noise over communities. Through its previous actions and the current suite of CAP documents the CAA has shown itself to be unfit to operate as an airspace noise regulator – it is neither impartial nor independent. SoNA, the CAA’s evidence base report on which it is proposed to base future UK airspace decision making, conceals the real impact of aviation and seeks to perpetuate the current discredited average metric system. This study should have been undertaken on behalf of DEFRA, not the DfT, by fully independent advisers. SoNA’s deficiencies include; • Non-representative population sampling, delayed survey timing until a very long time after the period assessed, opaque approach to questioning, different questions and scoring system from other transport mode surveys and lack of interrogation and inadequate analysis. • Failure to address properly the legally mandated basis of noise assessment across the EU, Lden, which through a weighting mechanism reflects the impact of flights at antisocial hours. • Wholly inadequate health research – this should be the fundamental building block in setting airspace management policies and processes. • SoNA should have, like the NORAH study in Germany, included “An interdisciplinary team including scientists of acoustics, environmental and social medicine, epidemiology, physics, psychology, and sociology ………. to carry out the noise effect monitoring program” [taken from the 10th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN) 2011]. • Inability to explain issues revealed by its own research, in particular increased annoyance within communities impacted by easterly operations only. The evidence presented in SoNA demonstrates mixed mode long term averages (recommended by the CAA as the primary basis for decision making) are not in themselves appropriate. • Failure to consider the impact of PBN (involving extreme concentration) on communities. In addition the consequences of providing or reducing respite, critically important to communities that are currently afflicted, are also not considered. • There are also questions concerning the accuracy of CAA’s noise modelling system, ANCON, on which SoNA (and the Airports Commission’s) findings are based. Based on SoNA’s flawed research the CAA proposes to continue to use long term mixed mode Leq contours as the primary metric for making decisions. Whilst somewhat lower noise thresholds are now proposed for determining ‘significant annoyance’ these still do not reflect long held WHO recommendations, make no distinction between different levels of severity of impact once the threshold is reached (a factor of particular concern to communities under concentrated routes) and do not set absolute limits or even noise reduction targets which airspace changes should comply with. The proposed framework under the three CAP documents is inherently stacked in favour of aviation. • Changes in the use of airspace will only be brought forward by the aviation industry where it is in their commercial interests. • The industry will be responsible for producing all the evidence to justify their proposals - and this will then be judged by the pro aviation CAA. • No action plans are required to achieve reductions in aviation noise impacts below currently unacceptable levels. • The DfT sets minimal requirements in terms of departure heights and maximum permissible noise except in areas extremely close to designated airports. In reality communities are impacted over much larger areas. The DfT guidance needs to be changed. • No financial incentivisation mechanisms to encourage quieter flying such as a noise levy (which would begin to align interests) are considered. The proposed IANA has been downgraded to an ICCAN which will have no powers of direction or fining airports or airlines. • The thresholds for qualification for compensation and insulation are set far too high and are inappropriate. • The DfT’s option appraisal tool, Webtag, can only ever be as good as the evidence base on which it draws. Because of the inadequacies of SoNA and potential inaccuracies of ANCON the evidence base will be clearly deficient. Given the scale of the impacts anticipated by the expansion of aviation generally, proposed new runways and the introduction of PBN, the evidence base, approach and processes reflected in CAP documents 1520, 1521 and 1506 are fundamentally unsatisfactory and should be subject to comprehensive review and redrafting. The proposals regarding Tier 1c are completely unacceptable as the draft guidance only requires change sponsors to undertake Stage 1 but para 142 states that “Changes that accommodate mandatory new technology…may be very difficult or impossible to reverse”. This would appear to be introducing highly controversial PBN changes – which are widely viewed as grossly unfair and persecutory to the people directly affected - by the back door, without appropriate consultation and engagement in advance of the change and circumnavigating the more robust 1a process. Equally, it is not acceptable that 1c changes can continue while a change sponsor embarks on a 1a change process given a 1a change process is expected to take nearly two years from start to finish. The proposals regarding Tier 3 are weak and ineffective. Simply requiring the aviation industry to publish information on why people might be experiencing more noise is highly unsatisfactory. These changes can be as devastating to communities as Tier 1 and 2 changes. There needs to be clear objectives set for each airport encouraging them to make demonstrable progress towards reducing noise to WHO recommended levels. This should include the creation of noise envelopes, beyond which it should be illegal to breach. Irrespective of whether the CAA has any legal or enforcement powers (and we strongly believe that someone should have the power to force the industry to comply with the rules e.g. the IANA) in this area but could be much more proactive in leading the industry to improve its practice. The role of the CAA where it is the change sponsor e.g. in relation to the introduction of PBN is not covered in the guidance. Para 49 states that “The CAA is not responsible for developing airspace designs or instigating airspace changes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances may include a change to meet international obligations where no individual change sponsor can be identified, or one that is required to implement changes in national policy”. We presume that one of the examples where the CAA could act as a change sponsor is in relation to changes relating to the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS). The guidance is silent on how the process would work in this scenario and how the CAA would ensure fair consultation given it would be both judge and jury for a change. In relation to paragraph 58, the guidance does not appear to specify who will be in attendance at the gateway assessment meetings, nor who will make the final decision as to whether a change will be approved (including any non-CAA representatives). For example, will there be any health representatives looking at the health implications of any change? In relation to paragraph 80, the guidance it is not clear how a decision to change a Noise Preferential Route would interact with the CAA’s new guidance. The CAA just says that it has no jurisdiction over NPRs but surely any changes to NPRs that would affect traffic patterns under 7,000ft would require a Level 1a change process? The guidance is not clear how the primary and secondary noise metrics will be prioritised as part of the change process and the weightings that will be given to each set of metrics. The process makes no provision for any representations to be made directly to the CAA, other than the Public Evidence Session at Stage 5. It is conceivable that a stakeholder (e.g. another airport) could feel very early on in the process that it has not been properly engaged or that the change sponsor is undertaking the process in a biased manner. This could mean that the change sponsor and CAA could be many months through the change process before the CAA becomes aware of such concerns and this part of the process should be reviewed.

Tier 1a: Stages 1 to 7

2. Considering Stage 1 (Define) of the process , to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
There is a major flaw with the proposed process at Stage 1 in that it allows the change sponsor to determine who might be affected by a change (and thus who should be engaged with). The CAA should set clear criteria for identifying who those stakeholders are, based on a suite of metrics and not just the widely discredited 16hrLAeq model. The evidence described in paragraph 105 i.e. differing views of local stakeholders on the design principles and how the change sponsor has taken these into account, should be published on the portal to maintain transparency.

3. Considering Stage 2 (Develop and assess) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
A “do nothing” and “do minimum” option should be mandatory as of the options development, even if the change sponsor does not believe that these options meet its statement of need. Without these being included, it will be impossible to appropriately benchmark and assess the impact of potential options. We are very concerned that the guidance has been written with the obvious assumption that aviation growth is a given – irrespective of the human, pollution and climate change consequences.

4. Considering Stage 3 (Consult) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The process should make it mandatory for the change sponsor to include ICCAN’s response as potentially impacting on the final proposal. Anything less will completely undermine the effectiveness and purpose of ICCAN. ICCAN should also be asked to comment on the proposed consultation strategy and documents before the CAA approves them. We believe that ICCAN should be independent of the CAA and there should be a clear legal requirement to incorporate/comply with its advice. The industry should not be able to ignore it at will.

5. Considering Stage 4 (Update and submit) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
Stage 4 makes no mention of the possibility that the change sponsor may decide following consultation not to proceed with a change proposal. This is a major omission and one which suggests that the CAA sees the consultation as a tick-box exercise. It should be entirely conceivable that concerns may be raised as part of the consultation e.g. that the health impacts of a change would be unacceptable that would mean that the do-nothing option is the only realistic option to be pursued.

6. Considering Stage 5 (Decide) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
It is not clear what criteria the CAA will use to determine whether a Public Evidence Session should be held as part of the change process. It is not clear who within the CAA will be involved in approving or rejecting an airspace change proposal, including the extent of any involvement from other agencies i.e. OGDs with responsibility for environment, health and education. It is not clear if the CAA will also consult with its own stakeholders prior to making a decision if there are specific issues that fall outside of its jurisdiction e.g. health of the population. The circumstances within which the SofS may “call-in” a proposal are too narrow and appear to have been designed to make this highly unlikely. The criteria that “the proposal could lead to a change in noise distribution resulting in a 10,000 net increase in the number of people subjected to a noise level of at least 54 dB LAeq 16hr as well as having an identified adverse impact on health and quality of life” appears to be completely arbitrary and suggest that the Government couldn’t care less what the health impacts might be if it affects less than 10,000 people – the size of a town!! The criteria also relies on the widely discredited 16hrLAeq methodology which significantly underestimates the number of people affected by aircraft noise. The guidance makes no mention of the fact that the Lden metric is legally mandated by the EU and as such, should be a key metric throughout the process. Restricting written statements to 1,000 words in relation to the Public Evidence Session is ridiculous given the consultation documents are likely to run to hundreds of pages (if CAA consultation documents are anything to go by!). This reinforces the impression that the Public Evidence Session is a tick-box exercise with the word restriction in place to minimise the time the CAA has to spend reading any responses. A draft CAA decision should be published in all cases – we cannot see a good reason why this is not the case and the rationale is certainly not clearly explained at paragraph 228. The proposed approach relating to the CAA’s environmental assessment is flawed for the following reasons: CAP 1520, App B, - Environmental Metrics and Assessment Requirements Any system of airspace regulation can only be as good the evidence base on which it is founded. For reasons explained later SoNA is a fundamentally flawed piece of work and the wrong starting point for establishing noise policy. This study should have been led by the Departments of Environment and Health and not by the DfT, which has compounded matters by delegating the work to the CAA, an organisation that is neither impartial nor apparently technically capable of undertaking the work. Under the proposed airspace management arrangements all power lies with the aviation industry, not the enormous number of UK citizens which it now impacts. Under the new arrangements all changes will still be brought forward by industry sponsors, who will only be motivated to do so if it is in their commercial interests – not for environmental reasons. The system is also based on change sponsors preparing the evidence base to judge their proposals based on a specification set by the pro-aviation and conflicted CAA. This will lead to a situation where evidence is slanted in favour of the aviation industry’s proposals and against communities. The CAA intends to remain judge and jury in all matters to do with aviation; there is no appeal mechanism to an independent third party; no power to reverse changes if predicted environmental outcomes are not achieved. This is against the principles of natural justice. Outside of formal airspace changes there are still very few (if any) practical safeguards for communities against intensification or densification of routes. This will cause huge problems in the UK with the proposed introduction of PBN. Essentially it is left to the industry to decide what is in its interests; no effective community protections or environmental constraints are proposed. The CAP document also exposes a fundamental impasse but finds no solution. Whilst it acknowledges the need not to impact existing overflown communities more severely, another stated objective is not to expose a large number of people to noise for the first time. This is simply not possible where it is proposed to grow aviation by 50% by 2030 or developing new runways in densely populated areas. The CAP distinguishes between primary and secondary metrics. However, it doesn’t make clear how all the new secondary metrics will be used in decision making (for example what weightings should apply), what actions will be taken if thresholds are breached and communities are impacted to an unacceptable degree (in fact there don’t appear to be any sanctions). The CAP still proposes retention of the discredited annual (or summer) Leq metric as the principle factor in decision making. In maintaining this position the CAA ignores the findings of its own research. The CAA also fails to reflect or acknowledge the legal requirement to use Lden as the principal metric within the EU. When this basis of assessment is used the more extreme impacts of late evening and early morning flights become fully exposed. CAP 1521 – the technical appendix to the environmental requirements (Annex 1) This document considers a broadening of the range of metrics to be used in judging airspace changes. However, (and notwithstanding international experience) it still concludes by relying on long term average Leq contours as the ‘Primary’ basis of measurement. It is unclear what weight, if any, will be applied to other ‘Secondary’ metrics in decision making. In fact, there is every reason to believe that some the Secondary factors are the most important. SoNA acknowledges that 100% noise contours (east or west operational mode) are relevant, but is totally silent on the weight to be attached to these. SoNA finds that long term overall average Leq contours on a single mode basis do not correlate well to community annoyance, especially in relation to communities affected only by easterly operations. It is most surprising that this finding is ignored (rather than investigated) in the analysis made in this Study. Annex 1 accepts that time of day and other ‘non-acoustic’ factors are relevant to community annoyance but does not consider the relationships in any depth and gives no guidance as to how these are to be reflected in decision making (e.g. restrictions on flights late in the evening). The inescapable conclusion is that there is an in-built bias within the Annex. This is exemplified in Para 16 which states noise modelling, which must accompany an application from a sponsor, must include ‘a situation after traffic has increased but assuming the proposed change had not been implemented (10 years after the proposed implementation)’. In other words, growth assumptions are a given (and trump all) in the base case – regardless of the noise impacts on communities below (where no limitations are proposed). No absolute limits in terms of noise exposure are recommended; there are no requirements to work towards World Health Organisation guidance. It is evident the DfT and the CAA put the health and quality of life of British citizens behind the commercial interests of the aviation industry. Para 18 refers to the reliance on modelling – referring to the CAA’s ANCON and new USA AEDT models. There are concerns about the accuracy of noise modelling that undermine SoNA and the findings of the Airports Commission (please see annexure A PLEASE NOTE THAT ANNEXURE A IS IN A PDF FORMAT AND HAS BEEN EMAILED TO airspace.policy@caa.co.uk . IT SHOULD BE TREATED AS PART OF TAG’S CONSULTATION RESPONSE). Notwithstanding this, the importance of accuracy - in the context of highly sensitive logarithmic metrics - of noise modelling is raised inadvertently by commentary included in the same Annex. For example, 3 dB (the basic measure proposed to be applied in decision making in relation to Secretary of State call in and compensation/mitigation qualification) is equivalent to a doubling of the numbers of flights. In addition Para 26 notes a 1 dB increase in Leq increases the area in a contour by 20% (which is likely to have a very large impact on the numbers of people living in areas considered to be ‘significantly affected’). Based on the potential errors highlighted in our annexure A this could mean that numbers of people adversely affected are greatly understated using CAA modelling – a factor which also applies to the Airports Commission’s noise analysis (which was undertaken by the CAA). Finally Annex 1 confirms what communities have suspected for a long time, lower flying is driven by engine maintenance considerations which require a lower thrust setting (para 70). This is reflective of an approach prevalent within the industry, the DfT and the CAA which puts profits before human welfare. CAP 1506 – SoNA Clear evidence of the CAA’s instinctive bias in favour of aviation expansion over communities is to be found in SoNA itself. For many years, the aviation industry in the UK (and elsewhere) has sought to downplay or conceal the real impacts of aviation noise on communities, primarily by the use of long term average metrics. (This device is useful to the aviation industry because the overall noise metrics are brought down by blending the times when communities are affected with those when they are not. On this basis communities can be exposed to intensive noise levels for some of the time but shown on the CAA’s noise contour maps as areas considered to be not ‘significantly affected’.) As pointed out earlier, SoNA finds that there is a serious lack of consistency in the correlation between annoyance and average mixed mode noise metrics in relation to communities affected by easterly operations. Because the CAA cannot reconcile this disconnection with an apparent predetermination to use traditional long term overall (mixed mode) averages as its principle measure of annoyance, SoNA cannot explain this finding and does not investigate the reasons. This is a serious issue as Leq is the primary metric the CAA recommends to use in assessing proposed airspace changes. The reasons for the east- west discrepancy are in fact easy to deduce and actually concern the relative intensity, length and timing of the disruption caused by aviation on eastern communities when airports (particularly Heathrow) are on easterly operations (which are quite different to the impacts on areas falling within the same noise contour but on westerly mode). Based on prevailing wind conditions in the UK westerly areas are overflown two to three times as often as communities to the east. Therefore, in order to fall within the same overall average Leq contour, by definition eastern communities have to be impacted much more intensively when they are overflown. This emphasises the importance of intensity, duration and timing of noise events in creating community annoyance. It is very surprising SoNA does not reflect such considerations which are crucial to understanding the real impact on people. If these factors had been looked into thoroughly it is highly likely that the survey would have come to a different set of conclusions in relation to the use of average long-term metrics. The conclusion that could have been drawn, especially given the use of opaque Leq logarithmic metrics, is that for a given level of noise energy generated by aviation people are far more distressed by shorter periods of more intense noise rather than more frequent periods of less intensive noise. On this basis there are very strong grounds for concluding that the CAA’s ‘Primary’ metric basis is unreliable and an unsound basis for decision making in future. SoNA also fails to consider the impact of respite, especially around Heathrow airport. Under current respite arrangements people to the east of the airport who are affected by westerly operations for two thirds of the year - only experience direct overflight for 8 hours a day. With half a day’s relative peace and one day in three without plane noise at all, these communities evidently find the situation more palatable than those communities impacted only by easterly operations who experience intense noise (concentrated particularly late in the evening – a factor that attracts heavy weighting under the EU’s Lden metric) for more than 17 hours a day. Whilst on an average basis these conditions occur around one third of the year, as weather fronts that give rise to easterly prevailing winds can sometimes last for weeks, the disruption and community anger at times is extreme. Normal living conditions entailing work or study can be impossible during those periods. SoNA ignores these considerations. The implications of such systematic gaps in the evidence base are serious. For example, the Airports Commission (under direction of the CAA) makes projections of numbers of people considered to be ‘significantly affected’ by aviation by Heathrow expansion scenarios using this flawed approach. In particular, numbers falling within contours considered to be ‘significantly affected’ are reduced by averaging across mixed modes and respite. This is compounded by flight path assumptions that are hypothetical and almost certainly wrong. A another glaring inadequacy of SoNA is that it ignores PBN, which with its proposed introduction after 2020 has the potential to cause great damage to large numbers of people living within the UK. The appendix to SoNA notes that PBN was being trialled in different areas through the survey period. Perhaps this subject was regarded as too toxic to be considered in any depth in the main report – notwithstanding that SoNA is supposed to create the evidence base under which FAS will be introduced over the next few years. In this context, the report fails to comment on the fact the trials had to be terminated early around Heathrow and that there were legal challenges culminating in its reversal around Gatwick. The CAA is being negligent in not addressing the issues associated with operational mode, respite and PBN in SoNA in its research.

7. Considering Stage 6 (Implement) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The section on Stage 6 is too brief and vague to the extent that how the change will be implemented is not clear. In relation to paragraph 247, there is no detail on what scope the change sponsor has to make changes at this stage to the original change proposal.

8. Considering Stage 7 (Post-implementation review) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The process should make it mandatory for the CAA to set out in detail its response to ICCAN’s feedback on the post-implementation review and how it has addressed the issues that ICCAN has raised. The CAA’s response should be published on the public portal. Re: para 259, clear deadlines should be given to the change sponsor to investigate any issues to ensure they do not employ delay tactics to “kick the issue in to the long grass”. The tolerance levels the CAA will employ as part of its post-implementation review should be made clear.

Tier 1a: Evidence of engagement

9. At certain stages in the process (starting with the development of design principles at Step 1b) the CAA will look for evidence of a two-way conversation to see that the sponsor has adequately engaged stakeholders. In paragraph C9 the CAA describes the evidence that we will look for as "detail of what sponsors have been told by their audiences; how they responded to this feedback; and how it has affected the proposals they are bringing forward".    Has the CAA adequately detailed what we would expect to see to know that a two-way conversation has taken place?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
What else to show two way conversation?
A key factor to be considered by the CAA as described in paragraph C9 is “Identifying the right audience” and significantly, those people likely to be affected by a change. The aviation industry has a very poor track record of consulting with affected communities as the current noise metrics are not an accurate reflection of the number of people impacted by aircraft noise. There should be clear guidance issued by the CAA as to how a change sponsor should identify the right audience based on a suite of metrics and not merely the widely discredited average 16hrLaeq metric. The noise contours used by the Airports Commission (and published by the DfT as part of the recent consultations) show just how flawed the current noise/contours are, with many communities (including Teddington) they are considered to be unaffected by aircraft noise. This situation will just continue under the new proposed CAA process, unless the metric system is overhauled.

Tier 1a:Third-party facilitation

10. At various points in the process (starting with the development of design principles at Step 1b) the CAA suggests that voluntary use of a third-party facilitator could be useful. Should the CAA be more prescriptive as to how and when a facilitator could be used?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Facilitator further detail
A third party facilitator should be available to communities for the duration of the change process.

11. Are there any other places in the process at which you feel that a facilitator would be useful?

Facilitator - which places
The level of time and commitment that will be required of members of the public and community groups to properly engage in a change process (and potentially multiple change processes running concurrently) is huge and they need to have ongoing access to independent advice and expertise throughout the change process. The cost of the facilitator (who must be fully independent and have the ability to commission fully independent research) should be funded by the change sponsor.

Tier 1a: Categorisation of responses

12. In paragraphs 177 and C34-C36, and Table C2, we discuss the categorisation of consultation responses. The sponsor is required to sort consultation responses into two categories: i) those responses that have the potential to impact on the proposal because they include new information or ideas that the sponsor believes could lead to an adaptation in a lead design option or a new design option, and ii) those that do not. Is the CAA's explanation of the categorisation exercise and description of the categories sufficient?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
Categorisation - additional detail
It should not be the responsibility of the change sponsor to review and categorise the consultation responses as there will be an incentive to play down or incorrectly categorise any responses that raise significant and legitimate issues with the change sponsor’s preferred option. The categorisation of consultation responses should be undertaken by an independent third party. The process outlined at para 176 where the CAA suggests it could review a sample of the responses and re-categorise them as necessary is not reassuring as there is no information on the size of the sample – if it is too small then this will make little difference. Furthermore, the CAA is funded by the aviation industry and therefore cannot claim to be independent so should not undertake this role. The process outlined at paras C34-36 and Table C2 have the effect of making the change sponsor judge in jury in its own trial. Very unhelpfully for communities, there are no examples provided of the “new information and ideas” referred to. Would “new information” include evidence of noise impacts of a change being greater than presented? How should those noise impacts be defined? The CAA guidance certainly seems keen to provide change sponsors with a number of examples – or excuses – for where they can choose to ignore consultation responses as per the extract below: “This may be because changes wouldn’t allow the change sponsor to achieve the design principles, because they would be operationally or commercially unviable or because they would have a negative impact on other stakeholders”(para C35)."

Tier 1a: Options appraisal

13. In paragraph E25 and E34 the CAA states that methodologies for the various aspects of the options appraisal should be agreed between the CAA and the sponsor at an early stage in the process, on a case-by-case basis. This provides flexibility for different local circumstances. Does this approach strike the right balance between proportionality and consistency?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
OA - explain re proportionality
Any Level 1a changes should be subject to the same methodology in terms of the options appraisal. Whether the potential change affects 100 or 10,000 people is immaterial as every individual who is potentially affected by the change has the right to be consulted with the same level of information.

Tier 1a: Safety information

14. At each stage in the airspace change process that an options appraisal takes place, the sponsor will be required to submit a safety assessment. The sponsor will be required to provide a plain English summary of the safety assessment and the CAA will provide a plain English summary of its review (i.e. of the Letter of Acceptance, which forms the CAA’s review of the safety assessment) when it makes a decision. These documents will be available on the portal.   Do you have any views on specific information that should be included and/or excluded from the plain English summary of the sponsor’s safety assessment and the CAA’s review? 

Safety assessment
No

Tier 1b: Temporary airspace changes

15. Considering Tier 1b changes, to what extent does the draft guidance on temporary airspace changes meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
It is not clear from the guidance what type of scenarios would be considered to be 1b as opposed to 1a or 1c. Without clear examples, it is impossible to assess if the draft guidance is sufficient. There are also issues in relation to the definition of “competent authorities” under Level 3. Are these airports or local authorities?

Tier 1c: Operational airspace trials

16. Considering Tier 1c changes, to what extent does the draft guidance on operational airspace trials meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
It is not acceptable that 1c changes can continue while a change sponsor embarks on a 1a change process. This would suggest that the 1c process is open to abuse as a way of introducing new technology or cost cutting changes without appropriate consultation and engagement and circumnavigating the more robust 1a process.

Tier 1: Spaceflights

17. On 21 February 2017 the Government published the Draft Spaceflight Bill. As the foreword to the draft Bill sets out, “This legislation will see the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Health and Safety Executive working together to regulate and oversee commercial spaceflight operations in the UK.” Do you have any views on whether this process could be used or adapted to suit future airspace change proposals to enable spaceflights, as anticipated in the Draft Spaceflight Bill?

Spaceflight
If there are significant health and environmental impacts associated with spaceflights, then a similar approach should be adopted in terms of consulting and informing stakeholders of how spaceflights could affect them.

Tier 2: Permanent and planned redistribution

18. The Government proposals talk about a Tier 2 change as one which is likely to alter traffic patterns below 7,000 feet over a populated area and which therefore could have a potential noise impact for those on the ground. The key requirement is that the air navigation service provider must demonstrate that it has assessed the noise impact of the proposed change and engaged with affected communities as appropriate. Which stages of the Tier 1a airspace change process do you think are necessary for a proposal categorised as a Tier 2 change? Please select all those which apply:

Please select all that apply
Ticked Stage 1 Define
Ticked Stage 2 Develop and assess
Ticked Stage 3 Consult
Ticked Stage 4 Update and submit
Ticked Stage 5 Decide
Ticked Stage 6 Implement
Ticked Stage 7 Post-implementation review
None of these
Don’t know
Tier 2 reasons
All of the stages should apply as a proposed Tier 2 change could have equally as significant impacts to overflown communities (as acknowledged by the DfT) as a Tier 1 change and therefore the same consultation and options development process should apply. It is highly inappropriate for the air navigation service provider to assess the noise impact as there is a clear conflict of interest there. This role should be undertaken by the ICCAN.

19. The CAA’s process for Tier 1a changes is scaled into ‘Levels’, based on the altitude-based priorities in the Government’s Air Navigation Guidance (i.e. where noise impacts are to be prioritised or considered alongside carbon emissions, a more demanding consultation is required). Could the future Tier 2 process also be scaled?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Tier 2 - scaled reasons
Yes, there could be scope for a different process to apply where a potential Tier 2 change is to be trialled (similar to a Level 1c change under the Level 1 process). It may also be appropriate for a less detailed process to be applied in certain circumstances e.g. military activities or where a change is not expected to result in any changes to the noise environment under 7,000ft but only where there are clear improvements/changes in the noise metrics used to assess any noise impact. The current 16hrLAeq metric has been widely condemned as significantly underestimating the population affected by aircraft noise and cannot be used in isolation. It would be nice to see some form of incentive introduced to encourage proposals to be brought forward which could improve the noise environment for communities e.g. these could be subject to a fast-track process but again, the accuracy of the noise metrics is vital. A noise levy could help to incentivise good practice.

20. Are there any other comments that you would like to make about the CAA’s potential Tier 2 process?

Tier 2 - other comments
The whole process focusses almost exclusively on the need to engage and consult on a change but provides no detail or incentives on how the industry should seek to improve the noise environment under a Level 2 change process. Merely telling communities that a change is going to happen is not sufficient and will see a continuation and escalation of the anger many overflown communities already feel about changes that have been implemented to their detriment. The guidance appears to suggest that Level 2 changes will reduce over time as PBN is implemented but the inter-dependencies between the Level 1 and Level 2 processes are not described.

Tier 3: Other changes to air operations affecting noise impacts

21. To what extent does the draft best practice guidance on Tier 3 changes (other changes that may have a noise impact) meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The proposals regarding Tier 3 are weak and ineffective. Simply requiring the aviation industry to publish information on why people might be experiencing more noise is highly unsatisfactory. These changes can be as devastating to communities as Tier 1 and 2 changes. There needs to be clear objectives set for each airport encouraging them to make demonstrable progress towards reducing noise to WHO recommended levels. This should include the creation of noise envelopes, beyond which it should be illegal to breach. Irrespective of whether the CAA has any legal or enforcement powers (and we strongly believe that someone should have the power to force the industry to comply with the rules e.g. the IANA) in this area but could be much more proactive in leading the industry to improve its practice.

22. Where industry does not follow the CAA’s guidance in respect of Tier 3 changes, or where there is a clear breakdown of trust between an airport and its stakeholders, is it appropriate for the CAA to publicly draw attention to this?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
CAA action on Tier 3 further detail
Yes, as what is the point of issuing guidance if the airport can ignore it at will without any consequence. However, what would the CAA consider to be evidence of a breakdown of trust – perhaps noise complaints, public petitions? In general, the proposed guidance relating to Tier 3 changes is weak and allow far too much leeway for aviation stakeholders to significantly alter the noise environment in an area without proper advanced consultation and engagement with communities. We have seen numerous examples of where this has happened in recent years e.g. Teddington which has led to community outrage and mobilisation and the current proposals will not address this. The ICCAN should also be tasked with identifying examples of industry flouting the Level 3 guidance and there be a clear escalation process within the CAA. The CAA’s duties to act in these cases and the procedures it will follow should be clearly documented. The CAA should clearly state the process that it will follow to investigate any breakdown in trust, including how it should be alerted to this and where and when the results of its investigation will be publicised.

23. Considering the list of potential information proposed, would you suggest any additions which would help stakeholders, including communities, understand the impacts of Tier 3 changes and enhance transparency?

Additional information on Tier 3 impacts
The predicted/resulting noise impact for each set of information included in Table 4, broken down by local area should be made available. These should be benchmarked against previously agreed noise envelopes which cannot be breached. Further clarity is required as to who would be the “competent authority” in such cases. Communities have long complained of changes happening incrementally, which have been subsequently denied by aviation stakeholders including the CAA. In many cases, it has been a combination of two or more of the factors outlined in Table 4 which are responsible. While much of the information outlined in Table 4 is important, it is not acceptable that the different elements should be published separately and it left up to members of the public to try and comb through this huge volume of information and work out the extent to which changes to individual factors may be causing more noise. This may require a change in approach but it is just not acceptable that the industry should be free to make changes without consultation that could blight a local area without assessing and consulting in advance of what the noise impact will be.

24. In relation to mitigating the impacts of Tier 3 changes, our draft guidance says that the focus should be on exploring the options for mitigating the change through two-way dialogue, because of the local and often incremental nature of Tier 3 changes. Does the guidance need to give more detail?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Tier 3 mitigation - reasons for Q24 answer
Paragraph 306 is far too vague and does not provide any examples of the sort of action that airports could take to mitigate a change (although it does provide the industry with excuses for why mitigation may be too difficult). All tier 3 changes should be presented and consulted upon prior to them occurring and airports should be required to undertake analysis in advance of how any tier 3 changes will affect the local noise environment (broken down individually the elements listed in table 4) so the resulting noise impacts can be properly measured. Noise envelopes for each area should be agreed in advance, based on WHO standards, with a legal duty placed on the industry that the maximum noise levels cannot be breached.